Car Seat safety is very important to me but it’s not always the most convenient when it comes to winter coats. With my son, I used to take his coat off in the car and either put his coat over him after he was buckled or had a blanket in the car that he could use. It was always such a pain and he would still continue to complain that he was cold.
Last year I made a poncho for each of my kids and I absolutely love them! It was super easy to make, each poncho only took about an hour to make. And they are so convenient and super warm. I almost wish I had one for myself. The poncho goes over the straps of the car seat so they are completely safe and my kids never have to be outside without something warm on!
To make this, here is what you’ll need:
-2 layers of fleece (about 1 – 1.25 yards each, depending on the size)
First, measure your child from the back of the neck to about their fingertips (or however long you want the poncho to be) and add 1 inch. I usually make the ponchos between 17-19 inches, depending on how big you want them to be.
Fold your fleece lengthwise and then fold it over so you have a folded square. From the folded corner, measure your length and either use a pen and string to draw a quarter circle or just measure the length from the corner every so inches until you’ve marked your fleece all the way across. Cut along the line you just marked. Make a similar cut on the corner for the head. I have found that 2.5 inches is a good size because the fleece does stretch a bit. Unfold the fleece and you should have a perfect circle! Do the same on the other piece of fleece.
To cut out the hood, I took a sweatshirt that we already had and traced it onto parchment paper. Add 1/2-1 inch seam allowance and then cut the pattern out. Place two pieces of fleece right sides together and cut out the hood shape from your pattern. Sew the pieces (still right sides together) along the top and back. Do the same to the other fabric. (Sew along the red lines shown in the picture).
Now we’re ready to sew the two hood pieces together. Take one of the hoods and turn it right side out. Keep the other one inside out. Put the right side out hood inside the other hood so the right sides are touching. Sew the 2 pieces together along the front of the hood. Turn your hood right side out and tuck the hoods into each other. You may choose to do a top stitch around the face of the poncho for a more finished look, but this is optional.
Got it? Great! Let’s move on to attaching the hood to the poncho. This is where it gets a bit tricky. Lay both circles of fabric on the table, right sides together. Now you’re going to pin the hood in between your circles of fabric. If you look closely at the picture you’ll see the inner most layer is the bottom pink poncho piece, then the pink hood layer, teal hood layer, teal poncho piece. It takes a bit of finessing to get the hood pinned smoothly within the poncho pieces. Sew around the hole opening, making sure all layers are sewn together.
Once you have that sewn, flip everything right side out (you’ll have to pull one of the poncho pieces through the hood opening). Sew along the bottom edge of the poncho if you wish and you’re done!
Here is a picture of my daughter with the first poncho I made to show how it’s used in the car seat. This works great in all types of car seats. The back side flips up and over the back of the car seat so no fabric is in between the seat and the child.